Rangers can’t clinch, fall to Ottawa

April 6, 2014, by
Photo by Scott Levy/NHLI via Getty Images

Photo by Scott Levy/NHLI via Getty Images

The Rangers blew a golden opportunity to clinch a playoff spot last night, falling to the Ottawa Senators by a score of 3-2. Robin Lehner was the difference maker for the Sens, stopping 41 shots, including seven shot attempts in the final three minutes to keep the Rangers from getting that nice “X” next to their name in the standings. Lehner was the difference, but a slow start by the Rangers put them in a 2-0 hole at the end of the first.

Mats Zuccarello, or “The Magician,” as Joe wants to call him, kept the game interesting with two deflection goals in the second, but the Rangers couldn’t solve Lehner or a Sens team that has some defensive problems. Alain Vigneault mentioned there is sometimes a let down after returning from a western road trip. The Rangers sure did open the game in a manner that let themselves down.

On to the goals:

Sens 1, Rangers 0


Before¬†Zucc tried to jump the passing lane between Chris Phillips and Clarke MacArthur, Benoit Pouliot blew a tire in the offensive zone. Zucc’s miss (picture above) left him completely out of position and gave the Sens a mini 3-on-2 rush at the blue line. MacArthur carried the puck in and found Mark Stone in the slot for a pretty easy goal.

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Derick Brassard was a bit lazy on his backcheck on Phillips, but Kyle Turris is the one that drew Kevin Klein’s attention away from Stone by cutting to the net (picture above). That distraction allowed for Stone to have enough time to tee up a nice wrist shot that beat Hank top-corner. Stone was Pouliot’s man, but he blew the tire and couldn’t get back in time.

Sens 2, Rangers 0


Pouliot simply cheated a bit too far to the point on the face off. This left a lane to the slot open for Mika Zibanejad when he picked up the puck after the face off win. Like Stone, Zibanejad had all day to tee up a shot from a short distance.

Rangers 1, Sens 2


Piggy backing off Joe’s markup, the circle up top was left wide open once Zucc went to the boards to get to the puck after the face off. Zucc got the puck to John Moore at the point for a blast. The shot was deflected by Zucc with Brassard providing the screen.

Sens 3, Rangers 1


The Rangers were simply unable to clear the defensive zone, twice failing to get it past the blue line. A point shot from Erik Karlsson on one of these blocks got through to Henrik Lundqvist, but it led to a scramble in front. Hank thought he had the puck covered, but from the picture above, you can see that it’s not actually covered. Jason Spezza was able to poke the puck through for the goal.

Rangers 2, Sens 3


Brass won an offensive zone face off, getting the puck to Zucc while he cut to the net. Zucc tried to hit Brass in the slot, but the puck went back to Marc Staal at the point while Zucc circled to the front of the net. The shot from the point was deflected by Zucc for the goal.

Fenwick Chart:

Courtesy of ExtraSkater

Courtesy of ExtraSkater

It wasn’t a puck possession domination game by any means, but the last three minutes saw seven shot attempts that did not go. The Rangers wound up finishing with a 54% Fenwick-For advantage and a 53% Fenwick-Close advantage. Lehner was the difference maker here.

Win Expectancy Chart:

Courtesy of ExtraSkater

Courtesy of ExtraSkater

This is one of the more interesting charts, if only for the roller coaster ride that it looks like. Again, this based off the score, time remaining, and home/away.

The Rangers let one slip away from them, and blew a golden chance to clinch. The magic numbers as of this morning:

  • Clinch playoffs: 1
  • Clinch non-wild card spot: 4
  • Clinch home-ice in first round against Flyers: 6
"Rangers can't clinch, fall to Ottawa", 5 out of 5 based on 1 ratings.
Categories : Game Wrap-ups


  1. Leatherneckinlv says:

    two things need to end, the MSL experiment and those 3rd Jerseys. Having a line that constantly needs shuffling is disruptive to the team. to me the Richards line with MSL is the 3rd line.
    When you have Pouliot playing the way he is, though he does not get as many points but plays hard, Zuke at 5’7″ standing up for Staal and Brassard playing very well make them my number 1 line.
    Nash is streaky but has maybe 30% of zukes toughness is also very concerning

    • Puck Luck @Centerman21 says:

      No one on the team has Zucarello heart and determination. Guys twice his size don’t play where he does. I didn’t like Boyle on Richards line. Moore played well there and won many big offensive zone face offs to get Richie & Msl the puck in attacking zone. Along with that Moore is good with the puck. Boyle is a waste anywhere other than the 4th line. I thought Boyle Carcillo & Dorsett were a force. Why break them up after 1 game. That is how the 4th will be most effective. With Boyles size he doesn’t need the puck as much.
      Moore is the guy to play on Richie & MSL line. Leave them together a few games. Changing it every game hurts chemistry of a 3 man line. Richards has also been most effective as a LW. It may also be time to move Hags down with Brassard & Pouliot and Zuc on top line with Nash & Stepan. Nash plays best when he’s emotionally engaged. Like the Columbus game. Zuc is the kind of player that will force away those double teams Nash gets when crossing the blue line. He’s always got 2 D on him. If a player followed up he’s either wide open or Nash is one on one. Thoughts on what I’ve said? DAVE-Chris-SUIT.

  2. joe719 says:

    You wish that Nash would play with as much heart and grit as Zuke. The guy is a REAL pro! Knocking Neil on his ass after the hit on Staal seals it. Now, if Neal ever caught him, he’d be dead. But no matter, hes there standing up for a teammate. He didn’t have to be told what to do. Some of the other guys in that room should take notice!

  3. Becky says:

    You could see that second Sens goal from a mile away — even I said “oh [poop]” before Zibanejad tee’d up. You simply cannot leave a lane open like that.

  4. Puck Luck @Centerman21 says:

    If not then at the very least the PP Units should be set up like this. 1-Zuc-Stepan-Nash-Girardi-Diaz. That gives a good L/R mix. 2-Pouliot-Moore-MSL-Richards-Staal. Maybe use a 4th forward on the 1st line but the PP could have won us the last 2 games. It seems like the PP has stopped talking shots at the slot like they were when the PP was successful early on in the season.
    Any word on a return for Kreider. I think if he’s in there we win in Denver. Big lose for a team winning with speed. Zuc has earned a look on top line. He’s one guy that can get Nash/Stepan the puck with space.

  5. Leatherneckinlv says:

    In all honesty we have 3 lines for next year and one line we need to build.

    Stepan, Nash and Kreider….check
    Brassard, Zuke and Pouliot….check
    Moore, Boyle, Dorsett….Lindberg, Beach….check
    Carcillo extra forward….check

    St Louis and Richards…..gone….Check….I think this line is not only a weakness but also disruptive. I honestly do not care what St Louis did in the past…after close to 20 games in the fold he simply is not a fit on this team.
    Sad news is this team can make a push to where as we lose 2 1st round picks for him. This can turn out to be our Gomez trade to Montreal.

    • Chris A says:

      Where is St. Louis going exactly? Are the Rangers releasing him?

      • Leatherneckinlv says:

        trade him…if not yes release him too along with Richards. No sense in living with a mistake….which it was to trade for him in the 1st place

    • Walt says:

      MSL is history, dead wood, and should be moved along, but to who????? There aren’t that many idiot GM’s out there that would take that crap off of our hands. He is a former Ross winner, but the key word is former, for all of the MSL fans. What a joke this trade is turning out to be!!!!!

  6. Seahorse says:

    i’m surprised at the lack of conversation about standing up for your teammate because they finally did what commentators have been asking for and they ended up shorthanded with two min left in the game when they needed a goal not a fight

    • Leatherneckinlv says:

      Sad part it was our smallest forward who is also a valuable player to lead by example. What do you think Nash would have done? I will tell you he would have grabbed, no not even grabbed…put his hand on the shoulder of a player from behind and stayed low key. I hate to say this but we really are soft. Only a few players engage in that other part of the game

      • Seahorse says:

        That team that was tougher than us last night isn’t making the playoffs cause they didn’t win games, not cause they didn’t beat enough people down while someone (Staal) was laying down with his back on the ice

    • HARLEMBLUES says:

      The fact that this team was down again to a lesser team at home sorry no cup.Would never want you to have my back.You can never let a player come off the bench skate across the ice and deliver such a dirty hit on a teammate NEVER.Winning the game didn’t mean anything after that.The Rangers are in the playoff.That a given.If these guys don’t start to stand up for each in the playoffs not only will they lose someone may get hurt.The game didn’t mean a fck after Staal got laid out.What hood did you grow up in.You stand together.94 team don’t fck with me players up and the line up.Check the roster.Skill plus toughest.

  7. Leatherneckinlv says:

    two games 3 liberties with star players only 1 instance of defending a team mate. McD out and no one including the coach did anything about it

  8. Chris F says:

    Carcillo looked absolutely disgusted on the bench after that post-hit scrum.

    You can tell he really wants to go send a message. I was against him being deployed in the Vancouver game because Burrows was already thrown out and there was no need to jeopardize the win by going out and assaulting a random Canuck and giving them a late PP.

    Last night however, after Neil felt he could throw that type of hit without repercussions and after all the Senators players on the ice got involved I’d have no problem with Carcillo kicking someone’s @ss to let the League know you won’t skate away without answering the bell if you target the Rangers key players.

    I’m not sure Carcillo is thrilled playing under AV’s passive leadership.